Chase Manhattan Corp. has hired Christian Yates to head its overseas mutual fund sales.

Mr. Yates was director and head of European business development at Lazard Asset Management Ltd.

He joined the banking company as a managing director in early September, succeeding Bill Semmes, who left about a month ago, a Chase spokesman said.

Mr. Yates' role is to expand sales of Chase's funds for non-U.S. investors within existing markets and to crack markets in Africa and the Middle East.

The offshore funds, called the Chase Manhattan Vista Funds, are now sold in Hong Kong, France, Germany, Italy, Panama, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. They are offered through Chase branches, insurance companies, independent financial advisers, and other financial institutions.

Chase plans to sell the funds through brokerages abroad, just as it distributes them through two other banks, Germany's Direkt Anlage Bank and Hong Kong's Standard Chartered Bank, the spokesman said.

Mr. Yates is based in London and reports to James T. Detmer, Chase's global head of mutual fund sales in New York.

Established five years ago, the 14 Chase Manhattan Vista Funds have $3 billion of assets under management.

Over all, Chase's global mutual funds group manages $42 billion of assets in 73 funds, including the Chase Vista Funds for U.S. retail investors.

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